Fans of Macho Zapp will know that an important part of our flagship multimedia features is our moving visuals. 

Whether the focus is on a musician chilling at a bar, an unfinished bass guitar swinging from a chain, or a woman lying in an MRI machine, the purpose is to bring the viewer into the scene - after all, we don't experience life like an edited TV programme.

For Synapse, our feature on the world of music psychology, we gave three artists (The Night Sea, Abel M'Vada, and Kenaim) the same video file of a brain being scanned and asked them to reinterpret in their own style. These were the results...



On his website the digital artist and musician Kenaim, says he "explore[s] emotion through motion and media synthesis".

But this is only touching the surface of the Phoenix-based innovator. His modesty (he names his most treasured award the junior judo state gold medal - certainly not to be sniffed at!) disguises the fact that he is a rising star in the field of moving visual creations and was featured last year in Vice's Creators project.

His Tumblr page is full of churning canvasses built to immerse you in an altered reality - and often express a deeper political or emotional meaning. It is not surprising then that he has featured in over 70 exhibitions and performances over the last few years and can boast a growing client list.

The Night Sea

'The Night Sea' is the perfect pseudonym for this artist - previously featured in our interview series profiling digital artists. 

Like the sea (and many other digital artists), the artist likes to retain a sense of the mysterious, preferring to talk art rather than personas and, due to their skill at capturing movement, the various GIFs on Tumblr frequently bring to mind lights reflected in water.

Elsewhere we find this ripple effect transferred to people in rather haunting urban scenes portraying something between a rip in space-time, a teleporter, and some kind of ghostly apparition. This is the beauty of The Night Sea, whose animations, glitch and manipulations at the same time magnetize and challenge.

Abel M'Vada

"Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them." 

This quote sits at the top of Abel M'Vada's Tumblr page like a mission statement. An artist, Gif animator, graphic designer and sometime musician, it was his Gifs in particular that caught our eye - dramatic, futuristic,  flush with neon - and all sharing a slightly malevolent edge.

The clever thing about M'Vada's work is that he manages to not only produce arresting moving images, but they all make a profound statement of some sort - often around our enslavement to technology.

And the below is our own effort. Though not taken from the same footage, we think it's pretty nifty nonetheless!  It also features music by neuroscientist and composer Michael Casey.

Macho Zapp

Read all about the fascinating world of music psychology here - Synapse.